Dombai

Not long ago two new superb ski-tour regions were discovered — Dombai and Arhyz.  Dombai is the mountain area in Karachaevo-Cherkessia on the Kuban basin in the North of the Caucasus Mountains.  Arhyz is a settlement in the South-West of Karachaevo-Cherkessia. Of the whole 65 km, 5 separate Dombay from Elbrus and 60 to the shore of the Black Sea.  Hence Dombai combines high-mountain conditions with openness and lots of sea air.  This makes it a very attractive place for lovers of deep fresh snow.

Dombai is not an administrative unit and citizens of this region are not regulated anywhere.  It is a contemporary place, although going back to tradition, the names of the summits, the river Teberda and the strong tributary of the Kuban, which unites some mountain ravines, take their origins from the Main Caucasus range.  The very word ‘Dombay’ in the local language means ‘bison’ – for, it is said, somewhere in the Dombai forests roamed a whole flock of mighty giants.  The southern border of Dombai is the Main Caucasus ridge.  The highest point is the Dombay- Wilren which is 4,040m.  The joining of three main canyons – the Dombay-Alibek, Amanauz and the Dombai-Wilren – forms the picturesque Dombai glade, which lies at an altitude of 1,600m above sea level.  Dombai is a contemporary centre for leisure and sport, especially considered so by mountain-climbers and alpine skiers, and is the tourist ‘mecca’ in the Big Caucasus Mountains.  Now in the Dombai glade there is a whole tourist complex of activities operating from many hotels in the area.  There are has cable cars which allow you alternate going off-piste with joining planned routes and ski-tours.

Dombai 1650m ski station - one of the best in Russia, with 9 (totaly 16) ski lifts, hotels, restaurants etc. Inspite of the ski station on Mussachery massif 3150m (lifts to 3012m), the mountains around were never touched with ski touring, only the last 2 years we are skiing here actively. Peaks and passes for skiing are of 3000m to 3800m, good snow conditions from the beginning of November (2007 from Nov.10 more than 2 meters of snow!). Good choice of the slopes. One-two days it is possible to do a lift/off pist ski - North slope of Mussachery with powder is completely off pists and without a lift and any ski track!


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